By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Powell’s Note: Due to time constraints, I’m only doing detailed coverage of the two matches that factor into the B-Block outcome. Should you watch these matches? Um, yeah! Not only do these matches decide the B-Block, but the main event between Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi is absolutely must see.
New Japan Pro Wrestling “G1 Climax Tournament Day 18”
August 11, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan at Budokan Hall
Broadcast live on New Japan World
Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero were the English broadcast team.
1. Michael Elgin and David Finlay defeated Shota Umino and Toa Henare.
2. Bad Luck Fale and Tanga Loa over Hangman Page and Chase Owens.
3. Marty Scurll and The Young Bucks beat Jay White and Roppongi 3K.
4. Evil and Bushi defeated Minoru Suzuki and El Desperado.
5. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe, and Tomoaki Honma beat Kazuchika Okada, Yoshi-Hashi, and Gedo.
6. Toru Yano defeated Tama Tonga by DQ in a G1 Tournament B-Block match.
7. Juice Robinson defeated Hirooki Goto in a G1 Tournament B-Block match.
8. Tomohiro Ishii defeated Sanada in a G1 Tournament B-Block match.
9. Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (w/Taka Michinoku) in a G1 Tournament B-Block match. Naito performed a tornado DDT. When he tried to follow up with a move, Sabre caught him in an armbar. Naito countered by rolling into a pin for a two count, causing Sabre to release the hold. Sabre stood up and blasted Naito with a kick. Naito came right back with a reverse DDT. A short time later, Sabre applied an abdominal stretch in the middle of the ring. Naito inched his way to the ropes to break it.
Sabre threw some kicks while Naito was seated on the mat. Naito caught a kick and performed a German suplex. Naito connected with a running forearm. Sabre rolled Naito into a pin for a good near fall. Sabre rolled Naito in a bridging pin for another good near fall. They jockeyed for position and Naito hit a Destino. He went for another, but Sabre avoided it and performed a Zack Driver and got the clean pin.
Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Tetsuya Naito in a G1 Tournament B-Block match.
Powell’s POV: Wow, I didn’t see that one coming, as Naito was my pick to win the tournament. Instead, it comes down to the Omega vs. Ibushi match with this loss eliminating Naito from the B-Block contention.
10. Kenny Omega (w/The Young Bucks) vs. Kota Ibushi in a G1 Tournament B-Block match. Romero noted that Nick Jackson of the Young Bucks was actually in the neutral corner. Kelly spoke about the love between Omega and Ibushi and compared it to the love a person would feel for a brother, a wife, girlfriend, husband, best friend, or training partner or “whatever”. He said this is the match that fans have been waiting for since the tournament blocks were announced. He said it was six years in the making and ten years removed from their first matches in the DDT promotion.
There was an early striking exchange that resulted in Omega going to the floor. Ibushi went for an odd dive, as Omega simply moved out of the way. Kelly noted that Ibushi is the only man who has ever kicked out of Omega’s One Winged Angel finisher. Ibushi bounced back and delivered some kicks to the back of Omega. Ibushi went for a moonsault from the middle rope, but Omega put his knees up. Omega performed a rolling senton and followed with a middle rope moonsault, but Ibushi put up his knees. They ended up on the apron where Omega set up for a snap dragon suplex that was stuffed by Ibushi. They fought for position and teased additional moves. The sequence ended with Omega performing an inverted piledriver on the apron.
Back in the ring, Omega connected with a running knee to the back of Ibushi. Omega set up for his finisher. Ibushi avoided it, but Omega countered into a German suplex for a two count. Omega blasted Ibushi with a V-Trigger knee to the face, then performed a tornado DDT that led to Ibushi ending up at ringside. The crowd did the Terminator clap before Omega performed his flip dive onto Ibushi on the floor. Omega sent Ibushi back to the ring and then went to the ropes. Ibushi recovered and caught Omega with a Pele Kick on the ropes. Ibushi performed a huracanrana from the top rope for a two count.
Omega ended up at ringside. Ibushi ran up the ropes and performed a moonsault onto Omega on the floor. Back int he ring, Omega caught Ibushi going for a springboard move and put him in position for his finisher. Ibushi delivered rapid fire elbows to the face to break out of it. Ibushi connected with a kick, then performed a standing moonsault that drove his knees into the chest of Omega and resulted in a near fall. A short time later, Omega and Ibushi fought on the ropes. Omega went for a snap German suplex, but Ibushi landed on his feet. The wrestlers exchanged strikes and Omega got the better of it with a V-Trigger. Ibushi came back with a couple of snap German suplexes and a big lariat.
Ibushi performed the Last Ride for a two count. Ibushi connected with a Kamigoye knee to the face and covered Omega, who kicked out at the last moment. Ibushi expressed shock over Omega kicking out. Ibushi lowered his kneepad. Omega fought his way back to his feet. Both men traded forearm strikes while Ibushi held Omega’s left wrist. Omega dropped a high kick and connected with a V-Trigger. Ibushi got back to his feet and threw a series of strikes. Ibushi ran the ropes, but Omega followed him in and performed a V-Trigger. Omega ran the ropes and ate a kick to the face. Ibushi went for a Phoenix Splash, but Omega rolled out of the way. Omega connected with a V-Trigger to the back of the head and then a Jay-Driller for a two count.
Omega caught Ibushi with another V-Trigger. Omega set up for his finisher. Ibushi tried to counter into a reverse huracanrana, but Omega dropped down from that position to drop Ibushi on his head. Omega performed another V-Trigger. Omega placed Ibushi on his shoulders and went to the middle rope. Ibushi fought free with some elbows, then jumped up and performed a double stomp to the back of Omega’s head. Ibushi performed a tiger driver from the top rope for a good near fall. Ibushi followed up with a Kamigoye and scored the clean pin.
Kota Ibushi defeated Kenny Omega in a G1 Tournament B-Block match to win the B-Block.
After the match, Omega and Ibushi embraced while on their knees. Kelly said the bond that the two have will never be broken. Omega got back to his feet, then had the Young Bucks help Ibushi get back to his feet. Omega and Ibushi hugged. Omega and the Bucks left the ring to let Ibushi have his moment. Ibushi took the mic and spoke to the crowd in Japanese. Ibushi was thankful and said his G1 isn’t over yet and he’s going to win. “And I’m going to win,” Ibushi said. The broadcast team noted that the second win mention was in reference to the title match he would earn if he wins the G1 tournament.
Ibushi, Omega, and the Bucks posed at the entrance. Ibushi fell down to sell. When they went backstage to the interview set, both men spoke while sitting down next to one another. Omega told the press that he will support Ibushi in the G1 finals. Omega said he didn’t want to say anything bad. He said he didn’t want to lose, but he also wanted someone to grow and evolve to become an appropriate opponent for him.
Ibushi said he didn’t remember much about he match. He said he just focussed on winning. He said there’s still one more match. Ibushi said he’s always considered his finals opponent Hiroshi Tanahashi to be a god. Ibushi and Omega both ended up leaving together with Ibushi stumbling a bit while continuing to sell…
Powell’s POV: An excellent main event. Ibushi wins a four-way tie for first place in the B-Block because he beat the three men he was tied with. Thus, it will be Ibushi vs. Tanahashi on Sunday. I assume this is leading to a rematch between Omega and Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom. Then again, I had Tetsuya Naito beating Kazuchika Okada in the G1 finals, so my prognosticating confidence is shattered! No complaints, though, as the finals should be very good and I would enjoy Omega facing either man on January 4, assuming he remains IWGP Heavyweight Champion until then.
The scoring for the round robin tournament is two points for a victory, one point for a draw, and no points for a loss.
Final A-Block Standings: Hiroshi Tanahashi (15), Kazuchika Okada (13), Jay White (12), Minoru Suzuki (10), Evil (10), Togi Makabe (6), Bad Luck Fale (6), Michael Elgin (6), Yoshi-Hashi (6), Hangman Page (4).
Final B-Block Standings: Kota Ibushi (12), Kenny Omega (12), Tetsuya Naito (12), Zack Sabre Jr. (12), Tomohiro Ishii (10), Sanada (8), Hirooki Goto (6), Tama Tonga (6), Juice Robinson (6), Toru Yano (6).
The finals will be held on Sunday morning in Tokyo with A-Block winner Hiroshi Tanahashi facing B-Block winner Kota Ibushi. Plus, Rey Mysterio Jr. is advertised for the show. As of this update, the NJPW has not filled out the remainder of the lineup.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ProWrestling.net staffer John Moore returning for an in-depth discussion on NXT, AEW, Impact Wrestling, MLW, and the NWA, and more...